Montreal en Lumiere: it was the worst of temperatures, but the best of times
Montreal en Lumiere – As Jacques-André Dupont, Director General of Montreal en Lumiere pointed out during the wrap-up press conference this past Monday; the weather was the worst in many years. However, Montrealers and the good number of tourists who made it to the city during the 17-day-festival didn’t feel intimidated by the cold and converged on the streets around the Quartier des Spectacles in the eastern part of downtown, to enjoy Montreal en Lumiere.
The edition that ended this past Saturday was the 18th edition of this unique festival that combines indoor concerts and gastronomical events with a series of outdoor activities, which run from February 23 to March 11. The fact that this is the year marking the 375th anniversary of Montreal provided an additional occasion for celebration.
Some of the artists featured during this year’s edition were Daniel Lavoie, who also was the honorary president of the festival, Matt Holubowski, Charlotte Cardin, Champion et ses G-Strings, Valaire, Peter Peter, Bobby Bazini, Alexandre Da Costa, and also a remarkable tribute show called “Piaf a 100 ans. Vive la Môme!”
Regarding innovation using multimedia, the project called “Illuminart” presented by the Casino de Montreal had a high visual impact. “Illuminart” consisted of 25 projects of lighting with spectacular visual effects using the façades of many buildings covering 3.6 km. in the area of the Quartier des Spectacles.
As usual, the gastronomy section was one of the greatest attractions this year: the highlight was the French city of Lyon considered a hotspot of France’s cuisine. Also, the gastronomical achievements of other places were part of this year’s presentation. In total 29 guest chefs participated in the Finest Tables program. There also were chefs from 14 different countries, and—as in previous years—70 different Quebec kinds of cheese from 19 producers were also featured attracting a large number of tasters. Among the many gastronomical events 4,500 Lyonnais soups concocted by Joseph Viola, were served up free of charge on the outdoor site and in community organizations.
Many other favourite features of Montreal en Lumiere were back attracting a variety of people. Among them the Ferris Wheel (20 metres high, with 16 gondolas), the Urban Slide in the middle of the esplanade (110 meters long, always kept at -15º C), and the Zip-line (an 180 metres descent from a height of 15 metres).
Director-General Dupont, very happy with the artistic balance of the event, also took the occasion to announce that for 2018 Montreal en Lumiere will join forces with the Institut de Tourism et Hotellerie du Québec (ITHQ) which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, for a unique gastronomical section of high quality. He also unveiled the name of next year’s honorary president, no other than the renowned singer Isabelle Boulay.
Mark your calendars now the 19th edition of Montreal en Lumiere will be held from February 22 to March 4, 2018.